Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Israel’s Birthday

As we mark Israel’s 68th birthday, I think it behooves us all to consider the importance of aliyah.


Yishuv ha’aretz has never been easier. The Ramban left Spain to Eretz Yisrael in a rickety boat. When he arrived in Acco he found the Holy Land in total devastation and had difficulty finding a proper minyan on Shabbos. Nevertheless in his letter to his son in Catalonia he writes that he finally found “eretz chemda” (the desirable land).

Today, there is more Torah learning in Eretz Yisrael than in all other countries of the world combined. More than 300 sefarim per month are published in Israel. The Israeli economy is number one in the world to invest in – just ask Warren Buffett. It is a country thriving on miracles.

Happy birthday, Israel – 3,000 years old, 68 years young.

Shmuel Knopfler
(Via E-Mail)


Leftist Academics

Re “Jewish Academics and the Trashing of Israel” (op-ed, May 6):

Of course those professors are anti-Israel. They’re leftists.

Speaking of leftists and Israel, a lot of us need to put a cap on the ridiculous nostalgia for the days when Israel and Zionism were “kosher” for people like the leftist folksinger Pete Seeger.

There is no leftist justification for the Return of the Exiles. There is no secular justification. It is in its entirety a Divine Commandment and a work of Heaven.

And please – stop trying to defend Israel by reciting liberal mantras about human rights. Moses did not use these arguments and neither should anyone today.

The farther and faster Jews run from their destiny as a people chosen by God, the more tragic the consequences will be, God forbid.

Roy Neal Grissom


Sad For Our Country

When I heard the news that Senator Ted Cruz had withdrawn from the presidential race my soul was saddened by what that meant – that our country just might no longer be good and decent enough for the outcome to have been different.

I take responsibility for the role, however small, I could have played and didn’t to stop us from this slide into the abyss. We used to be a country that was – or aspired to be – a beacon of hope for the world. Now we may be too wrapped up in fear and hate to be a beacon of hope for anything.

I hope I am wrong. And in hoping, I think back to another national nightmare for us – the Civil War, when President Lincoln voiced his fervent hope that once again “the better angels of our nature” would prevail.

Alan Howard
Brooklyn, NY


Pollard’s Ongoing Ordeal

Your editorial calling for the end of restrictions on Jonathan Pollard’s travel to Israel was well put (“It’s Time to End the Pollard Inquisition,” April 29).

As an American, I am very disturbed at the spectacle of an individual who by any measure has more than paid for his crimes continuing to suffer for acts committed more than thirty years ago and for which he sat in prison since that time.

While he pleaded guilty to the crime of mishandling secret documents, he was sentenced to more prison time than those convicted of even full blown espionage. And this on top of the fact that it is unheard of that spying for an ally should draw a life sentence.

I have no doubt that Pollard’s sentence was politically motivated. Moreover, the full story of the damage he did or did not cause has never been disclosed by the government.

The U.S. government has an obligation to release all the facts. We are not a country that simply locks people up and throws away the key.


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